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When Art Therapy Meets EMDR: An Integrative Workshop

On April 9-12th 2021 I will be presenting an integrative workshop titled "When Art Therapy Meets EMDR" at the virtual World Congress on Intergenerational Trauma conference.

More information including a full list of presenters can be found on the ISSTD Annual Conference website here.

Workshop Description:

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is posited to work with traumatic memory using bilateral stimulation to facilitate new neural connections for adaptive information processing. For many adults and children suffering from complex trauma, however, challenges in implementing the standard protocol can be encountered and may necessitate some creative modifications or novel techniques. Art therapy is widely recognized as a powerful tool for working with complex trauma and dissociation, as the art making process circumvents the difficulty with finding words and provides direct access to implicitly stored traumatic memory. In a blended and integrative approach, Art Therapy and EMDR can perfectly complement each other in creating a unique form of treatment for complex trauma and dissociation.

Phase-oriented trauma treatment will provide the backdrop for this workshop from which we will experiment with tools from both art therapy and EMDR. Participants will learn new approaches for creative history taking, sensory based psychoeducation, art-based resource development, enhanced mentalization skills and graphic-narrative tools for accessing and processing traumatic memory. Discussion of clinical case material will further support the experiential learning.

Participants in this workshop will experience the power of art therapy when integrated withing the eight phases and three-prongs of EMDR Therapy. We will explore multiple tools and techniques incorporating basic art materials and art-based processes to support and enhance the EMDR protocol. Creating drawings will make tangible the expression of traumatic memory and will facilitate a titrated process for reprocessing. Alternating bilateral stimulation will be explored through various tapping, mark making and movement processes. Thinking “outside the box,” this workshop will inspire participants with new, creative approaches to trauma treatment that can be readily applied for use with a variety of clients.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define art therapy and its unique advantages in treatment of trauma and dissociation

  • Describe the eight phases and three prongs of the EMDR protocol

  • Practice three techniques that demonstrate how art therapy can be integrated into the eight phases of EMDR therapy

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